Seven albums into one of country music’s most-respected and most-unpredictable careers, award-winning singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continues to grow. His latest evolution comes in the form of RISER, a project due out Feb. 25, 2014 that stands as his most personal to date.
Written and recorded in the year following his father’s death, the album draws its title from “I’m A Riser,” a song about resilience and determination. “I’m A Riser” works as a commentary on spiritual, personal and societal recommitment, but it also applies to the competitive battlefield of the music industry. It’s particularly appropriate for an album about rejuvenation delivered by Bentley.
“Life in general has a way of knocking you down,” Bentley says. “It’s different reasons for different folks – could be personal reasons, could be family reasons, your job, drugs, alcohol. That song really applies to anybody that’s lived. There have always been those moments when we have to get back up and get on our feet. They are defining moments…breakthrough moments.”
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in RISER, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrates a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. It evolves from track to track, exuding a range of emotions, all the while impressing upon the listener that Bentley’s instinct for a hit is stronger than ever. Bentley made significant reconfigurations in his creative team to shake up his sonic texture without sacrificing his commercial drive. He re-enlisted executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr., who worked on Bentley’s first two albums; and utilized producer Ross Copperman, who co-wrote “Tip It On Back” for Bentley’s previous album Home.
The new atmosphere yielded the most focused and intense vocals of Bentley’s career. Some were recorded live with the band as the musicians laid down the tracks, but others were captured in less-than-obvious locales. One track’s vocal was recorded on Bentley’s tour bus. Still others were cut at Copperman’s house with the producer literally at Bentley’s side, pushing him to some of his most emotional, and seasoned, performances.
“It’s not even really a studio,” Bentley says of Copperman’s set-up. “It’s just kind of a corner of the house he’s taken over, so there was a kind of intimacy to the vocal process. It was important to get out of the studio and sing in different places, and to do it with other people in the room. That way, you have an audience and you get a sense of what’s working, what’s not working, when it’s feeling good, not feeling good. It brings a little more emotion and energy out of your voice.”
Since making a life-altering drive with his father from Phoenix to Nashville when he was 19 years old, Bentley has forged his own path in an industry built predominantly on formula. He has mixed elements of modern country, classic country, bluegrass and rock, maintaining an unmistakable identity while constantly reinventing his sound. His album Home debuted at No. 1 and spawned three consecutive chart-topping hits, marking 10 career No. 1 songs for Bentley as a singer and songwriter. His five previous studio albums have sold more than five million copies, garnered 11 GRAMMY nominations and earned him an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry.
The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that’s now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.
Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 22nd, and most people will be enjoying time with their friends and families, including some of your favorite country stars, such as Adam Hambrick, Alan Jackson, Brothers Osborne, Clare Dunn, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt, Travis Denning and more. They share their thoughts, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes.
Adam Hambrick (Thanksgiving) OC: …I was raised. :32
“I know this sounds very cheesy, but I am very thankful for my family. A lot of the good things that have happened in my life are just a result of being raised in a family with two parents that love each other, with sisters that I love and being raised in a community of people, even outside of my family, that’s just a lot of love and a lot of care. Those are the things that raise a person up to be successful, and I am a success because of the way I was raised.”
Adam Hambrick (Thanksgiving food) OC: …Thanksgiving. :21
“Oh man. Give me Granddaddy’s turkey and dressing and just the friggin’ canned cranberry sauce, [laughs] like I’ll suck it down like a champ. There’s just something about the canned cranberry sauce with my Granddaddy’s turkey and dressing that will always taste like Thanksgiving.”
AJ (Thanksgiving) OC: …enjoy it. :19
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”
Brothers Osborne (misfits Thanksgiving) OC: …going home. :45
“What we’ve done the past several years is because it’s so hard to go home, we would have what we call the Misfit Thanksgiving dinner, and all the people in Nashville who aren’t able to go home to their families, we would just invite them over to our house and have a big potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll take like a couple of tables and throw them together and throw some sheets on it just to make it look nice. It’s a very redneck display of like tableware, because all the plates don’t match an d the forks and knives don’t match, but we don’t care. People will bring wine, and at the end of the day, we’ll probably have 12-15 people all sitting at dinner together that weren’t able to go home with their families, and just enjoy it with friends. It’s been really fun. Definitely a lot less stress than going home.”
Carrie Underwood (Thanksgiving 2018) OC: …with them. :15
“I am thankful for definitely my family. I just have the best kid in the world [and] another on the way, and I’m excited that my busy season is about to slow down and I’m going to really get to spend some time with them.”
Carrie Underwood (Thanksgiving) OC: …the other one. :34
“We don’t have too many set-in-stone Thanksgiving traditions. I find myself a lot of times working on or around Thanksgiving or unable to get home or whatever. We try to be together, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s just about we eat. I eat a lot every year on Thanksgiving. [laughs] I never skip THAT tradition. But yeah, that’s the gist of it, and I’m kind of lucky. I get two Thanksgivings, because I also get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, so if I don’t hit one, I’ll definitely be able to get the other one.”
Clare Dunn (Thanksgiving dish) OC: …like hers. :21
“I think my favorite Thanksgiving dish [is] my mom makes the best mashed potatoes in the world. I mean, they’re crazy. They’re like garlic and butter and all the good stuff, so that’s probably my favorite Thanksgiving dish. Oh, and she makes great stuffing too, and I’m not a stuffing person, but I like hers.”
Darius Rucker (favorite part of Thanksgiving) OC: …my family. :17
“My favorite part of Thanksgiving is easy – it’s food. It’s eating. It’s hanging out with family and getting some great food, ‘cause that’s really what Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all of the great things you’ve got, and I always give thanks for the greatest thing I’ve got and that’s my family.”
Darius Rucker (Thanksgiving) OC: …alive. :17
“The main thing I’m thankful for is my family, no doubt about that. Thanksgiving is about family first, you know either getting together going to New Jersey and getting together with family or in Charleston and getting together with my family and just cooking and eating and sitting around talking and remembering and being thankful for where we are and that we’re all still alive.”
Dierks Bentley (Thanksgiving must-have) OC: …for Thanksgiving. :34
“You gotta have a big turkey. Thanksgiving is not possible without a turkey. We cook it traditionally, but when we’re in, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, we were here in Nashville, we did the whole fry the turkey up, and it was great. It just tasted so good; all those juices get locked in there, and I love that too. You really can’t, to me, cook a turkey wrong. I’m gonna eat it any way, and I have over the years. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of county and state fairs, where I’ve seen gigantic turkey legs, you know, I’ve had the flat meat. I’ve done turkey every way you could do it. I’m pretty good any way you want to cook it up, but you’ve got to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
Eric Church (Thanksgiving) OC: …want to do it. :23
“A couple of things. I’m thankful for my family and great health. And I’m thankful for from a career standpoint, I’m very thankful for the success we’ve had lately. I’m thankful for what the fans have done. I mean there’s a lot of stuff to be thankful for in that regard. And I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to do it my own way. I’m thankful that I’m going to get to keep doing this and do it the way that I want to do it.”
Jon Langston (Thanksgiving) OC: …pretty cool. :21
“We always watch football on Thanksgiving. It was pretty cool in high school. It was a big deal in high school if you had practice on Thanksgiving Day because you made third round of the playoffs. So, in high school we always had practice on Thanksgiving, so I guess that was pretty cool. Everybody’s waking up on a cold Thanksgiving morning going to football practice, but yeah, pretty cool.”
Josh Turner (fave side dish) OC: …’em myself. [laughs] :24
“Uh, deviled eggs! [laughs] Where I’m from in South Carolina, I don’t think I’ve tasted a bad deviled egg. It’s like everybody has their own twist on it, but they’re all good, but I always loved it when my mama made ‘em. I’m learning as I get older, making deviled eggs is no easy task. It’s more complicated than it looks, and so that’s probably why I never made ‘em myself.” [laughs]
Josh Turner (holidays) OC: …the peace and quiet. :38
“I love being outside in nature and the outdoors, and the holidays is a great time for me to go and partake in that part of my life. A lot of times, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a little cold to go fishing, but when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a great time to go hunting, especially in South Carolina, that’s when the temperatures are starting to drop and the conditions are getting right, and especially in November, kind of the tail end of the rut, as far as deer season. So, it’s a good time to get in the deer stand whether you kill anything or not, it’s just a great time to just get away from everything and get away from the noise and the lights and the diesel fumes [laughs] and just relax and just enjoy the peace and quiet.”
Keith (Thanksgiving) OC: …for me. :21
“Thankful that, well, my marriage is just, it’s life-giving, not just life-changing, it’s been life-giving for me. And from there, we created life, and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work, has given life to it too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.”
Kip Moore (Thanksgiving) OC: …with them. :11
“I [usually] go home for Thanksgiving. I love going home to see all them. I have five brothers and sisters and it’s a blast to go home and just catch up on their lives. I get so wrapped up in all this that I lose touch sometimes, and it’s cool to hear everything going on with them.
LBT (Thanksgiving) 2 OC: (Kimberly) …and eat. :31
KIMBERLY: “Thanksgiving—we love Thanksgiving, ‘cause we get to be with our families and we don’t often get to spend time with our families, our extended families, until the holidays. I love being around the table with my family and talking and laughing and cooking and eating…” JIMI: “And eating and eating and eating and eating…” PHILLIP: “The laughter around the eating, the good cheer, the celebration, the music…” JIMI: “The eating, going taking a nap, then coming back and eating.” KIMBERLY: “Go to bed with a full belly, take a nap, and then get up and eat.”
Maddie & Tae (Thanksgiving) OC: (TAE) …I do. :41
MADDIE: “I love Thanksgiving because I get to see my family, and it’s not as much pressure as Christmas I feel like because there are no gifts exchanged. It’s just all about quality time and I love quality time. My favorite dish is some broccoli-cheese casserole and Tae’s favorite dish, I know, is cranberry sauce, just plain. Just plain ole cranberry sauce, no turkey, just cranberry sauce.” TAE: “She knows.” MADDIE: “That’s it.” TAE: “I genuinely feel there’s something wrong with me. (MADDIE: “Out of the can.”) out of the can. My parents know just to have cranberry sauce for me, like no one else can touch it. There’s a home video where my brother Mason tries to eat it, and I’m like, ‘What are you doing? This is mine.’” MADDIE: “She eats it out of the can.” TAE: “I do.”
Mickey Guyton (favorite Thanksgiving dish) OC: …both so much! :39
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish that has to, has to, has to be at Thanksgiving dinner is dessert. Dessert is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. I mean, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s sweet. My mom actually makes an Italian cream cake that’s absolutely awesome. It’s homemade, and the entire family, that’s the first thing to go at Thanksgiving dinner. And my Grandma D, she makes a pecan pie that is awesome. She taught me how to make them when I was little, and I just love them, and that’s the other thing that I look forward to at Thanksgiving dinner, and I love them both so much!”
Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …glass of milk. :34
“When I pile my plate up, it’s mostly turkey and then I’ll put a little dressing on the side, and I’ll usually go ahead and grab my dessert on the first run [laughs] and have it ready before it all disappears. Those are the really the three things. It’s strange, but since I was very young, I’ve always loved drinking milk, my brothers too, we drank lots of milk. My cousins, who grew up down the road, they always looked at us funny when we wanted to drink milk with our Thanksgiving meal. They would have coke or whatever else. So, I still get turkey, dressing, a piece of pecan pie and a big ole glass of milk.”
Travis Denning (Thanksgiving) OC: …love Thanksgiving. :43
“Thanksgiving actually is probably one of my favorite moments of the year, and the reason is actually because just about every Friday after Thanksgiving, I would play a small acoustic show at this bar in my hometown and it’s always so much fun. So many of my old friends come and it’s packed and it’s super loose and super fun and everybody’s just enjoying it. I might play three of my songs, and then I just try to figure out how many old country songs I can sing. That’s so fun, because you’re coming off spending so much time with your family and then you get this little time to go spend with your friends. I think it’s just great because you get to knock out so much like reconnecting and fellowship. I love Thanksgiving.”
“Hey I’m Adam Hambrick, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hi! This is Alan Jackson. I hope y’all have a very happy Thanksgiving out there.”
“Hey Guys, I’m Billy Currington. Have a great Thanksgiving.”
“Hey y’all! This is Brandon Lay. Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey! This is TJ, and this is John, and we’re wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey! This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey! It’s Dierks Bentley! Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey folks! It’s Eric Church, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey guys! Gary Allan here. I just want to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving, and have a Happy Holidays and make sure you’re safe out there. Drive safe. Party your butts off, but do it safe.”
“Hi! This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
Hey y’all, I’m Jon Langston, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.
“Hey! It’s Jon Pardi, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey I’m Jordan Davis. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.”
“Hey y’all I’m Josh Turner, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Happy Thanksgiving everybody. It’s Keith Urban here. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all of you listening for your incredible love and support that I’ve received over the last year, and to wish you and all of your family all the very best for this holiday.”
“Hey what’s up guys, this is Kip Moore wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey! This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey, we’re Little Big Town. Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey! It’s Luke Bryan, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Hey everybody! I’m Maddie, and I’m Tae, and we’re Maddie & Tae, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey! It’s Mickey Guyton here, and I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.”
“Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
Hey y’all! It’s Travis Denning, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving.”
Dierks Bentley is nominated for CMA Musical Event of the Year with his recent tour mates, Brothers Osborne, for the song “Burning Man,” which is nearing the Top 10 on the country charts.
Dierks recently wrapped up his Mountain High Tour, but immediately thought of his former tour mates when he started recording the song. “In the studio, Jedd Hughes put down this great guitar part, and I thought, ‘Man, John would be really cool on that,’ and then, obviously TJ has a, I love his singing. Great voice,” says Dierks. “I would’ve asked them to be on it regardless, I really would have, but the fact they’re on tour with us just makes it all that sweeter.”
Dierks is also up for Male Vocalist and Album of the Year (The Mountain). You can catch him on the morning of the CMA Awards performing two songs on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Vince Gill is also nominated for Musical Event of the Year for his collaboration with Maren Morris on “Dear Hate.” Vince is one of the most awarded artists in CMA history with 18 including two Entertainer of the Year awards and five Male Vocalist Awards.
The 52nd Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, will broadcast live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday (November 14th) at 8pm ET/PT on ABC.
MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
(Award goes to each Artist)
“Burning Man” – Dierks Bentley Feat. Brothers Osborne
“Dear Hate” – Maren Morris (Feat. Vince Gill)
“Drowns the Whiskey” – Jason Aldean (Feat. Miranda Lambert)
“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” – David Lee Murphy (with Kenny Chesney)
“Meant to Be” – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line
Dierks Bentley (Burning Man) OC: …really well. :24
“I’d had this song for about two years. It’s been a song I’ve been holding on for a little while. I just love that song. I could really relate to the lyrics. In the studio, Jedd Hughes put down this great guitar part, and I thought, ‘Man, John would be really cool on that,’ and then, obviously TJ has a, I love his singing. Great voice. I would’ve asked them to be on it regardless, I really would have, but the fact they’re on tour with us just makes it all that sweeter. Those guys are the perfect group to do it with and they definitely took it to a new spot and now we get to sing it every night on stage, so it worked out really well.”